NEW DELHI — India’s tourism and accommodation industry is struggling to keep up with the increasing popularity of beauty salons, which are being accused of sexual exploitation and abuse.
A new report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that many of India’s leading beauty salon chains are run by men who have abused their power over women.
“There are some women who are being exploited,” said Biju Bhaskar, the UNODC’s deputy secretary general.
In India, about one-third of all salons in hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs are run illegally, according to the report.
Many of the establishments in India’s luxury hotels and resorts have been shut down or are under surveillance by security forces, according the report released Thursday by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the right to health and the right of indigenous peoples.
Bhaskar says the UN is concerned about the “deep-rooted culture of sexual violence” in India.
The UNODO report found that Indian beauty saloons are also subject to a range of restrictions that limit access to women, including the need for their consent to use the facilities.
According to the UN, the salons have a poor record of reporting sexual violence to police and often are not registered with government agencies.
India has more than 200 beauty salontas that operate illegally, and about 80 percent of the businesses are located in major cities and cities with high concentrations of the poor, according TOI.
For years, beauty saloon owners have operated without government oversight, and there has been little enforcement, said Rajeev Chatterjee, a leading Indian beauty salon owner who has been fighting the ban on the business for years.
It is very hard for the police to crack down on beauty salunas.
We have been under the radar for years and there is nothing we can do about it.
This has become a culture.
The police are trying to stamp out our business, but we don’t care.
We don’t want to get caught in the crossfire.
Chatterjee has been a regular at a spa in the Indian capital of Delhi for almost 30 years, and he has witnessed firsthand the exploitation of his customers.
He said that the owners are usually hired by a family member, and they are often coerced into working as prostitutes.
One day, when he was trying to clean his bathroom, he heard his mother cry out.
It was her husband, who had been beating her for months.
She told him to get out of her home and go back to work, but he refused.
Instead, he grabbed his son, grabbed a knife and started slashing her.
She was so scared, she fell into the tub, screaming, and she couldn’t get up.
They were still beating her, he said.
Chatterjay’s son told him that his mother was in labor, and his father had been abusing her for weeks.
His father had threatened to kill her and take her children, but his son and his mother convinced their mother to let him take them to the hospital.
He told them he would take them if she would just give him her phone number.
When he reached the hospital, he was called by his mother.
After a couple of hours of questioning, he found out that his father, who has no criminal record, had been in the hospital for six months and had been diagnosed with cancer.
When his mother saw her son, she cried hysterically, he recalled.
He tried to calm her down and comfort her, but her crying only made him angry more.
He was upset that his family had betrayed him, he added.
Police officers in the city said the owner of a beauty salon in the central Indian city of Lucknow is one of the main operators of salons that have been raided in the past six months, according ToI.
In Lucknow, a few of the beauty salonds raided in recent months are owned by local residents.
The owner has not been arrested, but the local police are investigating the case.
At least 15 beauty salones were raided in Lucknow last year.
The investigation is ongoing.
In January, two beauty salonies in the state of Uttar Pradesh were raided.
One of the men, a local doctor, was arrested for allegedly raping two girls at a beauty salone in the district.